What are the causes of the water shortage? One cause of water shortage is water pollution, which comes from pesticides and fertilizers that wash from farms and human waste. In the parts of the Middle East and Africa ravaged by war in particular, use of pesticide is largely unregulated and there is a lack of adequate sewage treatment facilities. That makes access to water even more limited in places like Iraq and Syria-- places that need it most because of the high percentage of unemployment and refugees. Agriculture also contributes to a lack of usable water, because it uses about 70% of the world’s accessible freshwater and 60% of it is wasted due to leaky irrigation and the inability to cultivate crops efficiently. Other industries are also ineffective at using water, and these inefficient uses of water are drying out rivers and irrigation systems. Also, climate changes contributes to severe droughts in places like the Middle East because changing weather patterns make hot dry places hotter and drier, and don’t allow for cloud formation. The biggest problem contributing to lack of clean water, however, is population growth. The water ecosystem cannot keep up with the rapid increase of population.
What are the impacts of water shortage? Firstly, the lack of clean and safe water is causing wetlands to disappear, which are habitats for multiple animals and are also places for cultivating rice-- an important diet for most of the population. The worst and largest impact of water shortage is that many people lack reliable access to clean water. Freshwater is essential to live a healthy life, but millions lack clean access to water and it is predicted by 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population will be facing water shortages. Clean water is vital in every part of the world, and when humans are exposed to unsanitary water, it can lead to fatal diseases, such as dysentery, cholera, and typhoid fever. The scarcity of water also causes economic scarcity because the ability to find a reliable source of water is time consuming and expensive. In addition, water shortages have already contributed to conflicts in the Middle East in places like Israel, for example. Because most of the access to water and water treatment facilities are in Palestinian controlled Gaza, Israel’s dire need for clean water has intensified their conflict with Gaza.
What can be done to prevent this water shortage and how will it help? Access to clean and safe water can improve education, hunger, and health. A lack of clean water effects a student’s performance and attendance, because drinking contaminated water can cause many illnesses. Without access to usable water, it is extremely difficult to grow, preserve, and prepare food, so the children and adults of these regions are suffering from starvation. In developing countries, about 80% of illnesses are linked to unsanitary water. Clean water would prevent the amount of illnesses, and would allow children and adults to be healthy enough to earn an education and get jobs. The best way to help solve water scarcity is to donate to organizations whose goal is to build safe and clean water resources. Another thing being done to help is to manage water shortage efficiently. World Wildlife works with partners to advance the science of water conservation
This movie is from the move Last Call at the Oasis, which is a movie about global water shortage. You can find it on Netflix if you want to watch more!